KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. - Inside the launch tower on Launch Pad 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, the lower end of the Lockheed Martin Centaur second stage is being lowered through an opening toward the Atlas V below. The Centaur will be mated with the Atlas V. The Atlas V/Centaur is the launch vehicle for the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). The MRO is designed for a series of global mapping, regional survey and targeted observations from a near-polar, low-altitude Mars orbit. These observations will be unprecedented in terms of the spatial resolution and coverage achieved by the orbiter?s instruments as they observe the atmosphere and surface of Mars while probing its shallow subsurface as part of a ?follow the water? strategy. The launch window for the MRO begins Aug. 10.